Coffee shop opening in Yukon aims to help teens aging out of foster care
[Aug. 21, 2020: Joseph Shavit]
In January, Rachel Smith told KFOR that she was moving her food truck, the Red Bird Coffee Cart, into a brick-and-mortar location.
While Smith plans to serve coffee and brunch menu items, she also wants to provide a sense of stability for children in foster care.
Smith used to work for DHS, and says she got the idea for the coffee house while talking with a teen who was living in a shelter.
“And he said, ‘Rachel, I just want to have a job. I just want to be able to have a phone and provide that for myself and to one day have a car,’” Smith said. “That really spurred me to think, OK, that is something that needs to be addressed and should be accessible to all individuals no matter what their childhood was like.”
It’s something her husband, Kris Goble, knows personally.
Goble was in foster care for six years and aged out of the system, but he says his foster family gave him the stability he needed to be successful.
“A lot of us only achieve success based on who we surround ourselves with and it’s those people that encourage us and then ground us that really push us forward,” Kris Goble said.
Smith says she plans to hire teens who are aging out of foster care and create a mentorship program that connects them to their desired work field.
“We’re able to show them first of all that they’re loved and cared for, that we’re here to encourage them and we’re here to help guide them along as they grow and develop,” Goble said.
Now, they say their doors are open to serving the community.
The Red Bird Coffee House is located at 812 W. Main Street in Yukon.
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Want to learn more?
The Foster Coalition is a resource website for many things related to foster care. The mission is to make important information easy to find, whether you are a foster youth looking for support, a foster parent seeking a clothing closet, or a concerned person who wishes to get involved and support youth in care.
The Foster Coalition website was started by Leah Burdick, an adoptive mom. Leah was a blogger for the Chronicle of Social Change, and given her business background, she specialized in writing about innovative programs improving different aspects of foster care. However, she often had difficulty finding programs and support data for her blogs. That's when she compiling lists for herself and quickly found that they were useful to others. Thus, the Foster Coalition website was born.
The Foster Coalition does not accept donations. It is a "love offering" to the community in the hopes that access to information will make it easier for people to support youth in care.
If you are interested in companies & organizations that hire current and former foster youth, check this out.